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Tapani Paajoki leads an expert team in the Data Business Unit
Tapani Paajoki leads a team of 13 experts in Cybercom's new Data Business Unit. He saw Solutive’s entire path and on that journey grew to become a top expert in Tableau. As a leader at Cybercom, he sees a wide range of customers and gets to sniff out industry trends
At the beginning of the year, Solutive, a leading analytics company, merged with Cybercom. When Tapani Paajoki had started as an intern at Solutive in 2014, he was the second employee in the company. He grew from a trainee to an analytics consultant working with increasingly challenging client cases. As an analytics consultant, Tapani trained hundreds of Tableau users, was a technical expert in sales, and participated in the creation of content for clients.
When a couple of years ago Solutive decided to organize more efficiently, Tapani started to lead a team of a few consultants in Tampere, but still mostly worked in the customer interface. With the merger, Tapani ended up continuing to work as a team leader at Cybercom.
"I plunged into this role through a number of coincidences, but this is nice. I take it as a challenge to lead a team of experts, this is a great opportunity to learn it in a supported and safe way. My work history is useful, as I know what customer work is and how to familiarize people to it."
Tapani’s 13 team members seem to appreciate the fact that the supervisor has experience of the same job. In the current distance working era, Tapani strives to keep in touch with team members, new additions in particular. A significant portion of his time is currently spent on resourcing as Tapani and other team leaders determine who fits with which client. This spring, recruitment has also cut a big chunk of Tapani’s working time - more experts are constantly needed for customer work. Tapani's job also includes being involved in the development of the Data Business Unit's operations.
"Through the team members, this is a lookout to see extensively what is being done on the customer front. I see how we increase the efficiency of both public and private customers and also a lot of our internal work, which is really interesting", Tapani says.
Business education is useful in data jobs
Tapani moved from Jämsä to Tampere in 2005 to study Industrial Engineering and Management at TUT. He says with a laugh, that it was then the only line at TUT that did not have any mandatory coding courses. Tapani didn’t know that he would end up in the IT industry, but on the other hand, when working with Business Intelligence, a business education can be much more relevant than a coding background. Tapani estimates that at Solutive, half of the employees had a business degree, as does one in three at Cybercom’s data unit.
"This line of work requires both deep experts and multi-experts. Some know one thing in depth and others know a little bit of everything. I am more on the broader range of expertise side and have a commercial perspective, but on the other hand, I have passed the highest certification in Tableau."
Tableau, used for visual analytics, offers a three-level certification program, and less than ten people in Finland have completed the highest level. Tapani has learned everything about the BI tool at work.
"Coming to Solutive, I started with zero Tableau skills. There are no limits on that study path, Cybercom’s best employees are involved in Tableau's product development at the European level."
As a supervisor of a competent team, Tapani believes that it is often better to intervene only minimally. On the other hand, he points out that internally Cybercom is often referred to as an “adult workplace”, where you want to make sustainable and workable solutions. As a result, employees are required to develop themselves and are also rewarded for doing so.
"I see the big picture through the customer base and what is trending. Together with my team members, we try to determine what would be the best technology to study. In addition to doing certifications, I direct new employees to attend our training sessions, which allows them to get as close as possible to what we are doing."
Truly meaningful customer work
Many enjoy working with new technologies and so does Tapani. The market is constantly changing as technologies evolve at a tremendous rate. At Cybercom, the synergy between the Data, Code and Cloud units is significant, and all of them are businesses that are in high demand.
"I used to work at a toilet paper factory and a colleague there said it would be hard to mess up this business. The same thing can be said here when you work with the cloud, data and code", Tapani laughs.
What motivates Tapani the most, however, is doing work that is truly meaningful. As an expert at Cybercom, one gets to do things that really help the client and society as well. For example, streamlining public health care solutions brings significant savings, and on the business side, streamlining exports benefits the whole of Finland. Globally important sustainability is also at the heart of what Cybercom is doing.
As a Nordic company, Cybercom offers the opportunity to work internationally. In addition to the data business, the code and cloud units offer career opportunities. Tapani praises that Cybercom is well known and reputable in the market.
"This is a really interesting time, as Cybercom’s Data Unit has only recently been established. It is clear that we will grow, but it will be interesting to see how quickly, what challenges come and how we can tackle them together."
The first joint spring of Cybercom and Solutive has still focused on the merger. Due to covid, physical encounters have not yet been possible, and as a team leader, Tapani is sad that informal discussions and exchanges of information over lunch and coffee breaks have been missing. He is looking forward to the return of these encounters and also evening get-togethers with colleagues. Admittedly, there is plenty to do at home, as another child will soon be born into the family.
"I like to play ball sports, especially floorball, and now most recently also padel, which has become very popular in Tampere as well. Let’s see, when will I have time for hobbies", Tapani laughs.